Black Women Writing and Identity is an exciting work by one of the most imaginative and acute writers around. The book explores a complex and fascinating set of interrelated issues, establishing the significance of such wide-ranging subjects as:
* re-mapping, re-naming and cultural crossings
* tourist ideologies and playful world travelling
* gender, heritage and identity
* African women’s writing and resistance to domination
* marginality, effacement and decentering
* gender, language and the politics of location
Carole Boyce-Davies is at the forefront of attempts to broaden the discourse surrounding the representation of and by black women and women of colour. Black Women Writing and Identity represents an extraordinary achievement in this field, taking our understanding of identity, location and representation to new levels.
Boyce-Davies’s book is exciting and informative and inclusive of most contemporary theoretical thinking that relates to the study of black women writing cross-culturally. Perhaps too inclusive. The text is congested with references to and quotations from disparate theorists who, rather than elucidate, often detract from Boyce Davies’s arguments. And Boyce Davies often glosses over major differences in the methodologies favored by the theorists she examines. The positions of Barbara Christian, bell hooks, and Teresa Ebert on the impact of poststructuralism on coeval literary criticism, for example, are much more sharply differentiated than Boyce Davies would want us to know.
This book will make a major contribution to a range of related fields: Black feminism, feminist studies, African literary and cultural studies, postcolonial studies, literary theory, cultural studies…Davies here fulfils the important task of adding a much-needed particularity to the category of Black women’s writing.
–Valerie Smith, University of California, Los Angeles